Saudi man arrested for SR39 million fraud

Cairo: A Saudi man has been arrested over defrauding a governmental support fund of over SR39 million, the country’s media reported Friday, citing an anti-graft watchdog.

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An official source at the Control and Anti-Corruption Authority, known as Nazah, said it had received a report from the Human Resources Development Fund (Hadaf) that sums of money had been illegally obtained from a programme for supporting commercial enterprises linked to the fund.

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The reported fraud had been allegedly carried out by reuse of disbursement orders and that the money had been transferred to bank accounts of businesses owned by a Saudi citizen, the Saudi news agency SPA reported.

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Investigations by the watchdog revealed that the Saudi had exploited a loophole in the electronic system and hacked into the website of the fund. The suspect had access to old reimbursement orders and reused them after modifying the numbers of bank accounts and replaced them with those of his enterprises. This way, he had reimbursed SR39.8 million from 2018 to 2020, the source said.

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During investigations, the accused admitted that there is a loophole in a system of a governmental agency that can be misused for financial reimbursements. The investigation process requires that the agency’s name to be disclosed, according to the source.

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In recent months, Nazah has reported a string of high-profile corruption cases as part of a relentless anti-graft campaign in the country.

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